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Silicon Valley welcomes SU students

Spring Break in Silicon Valley 2013

For the third year straight, SU’s School of Information Studies (iSchool) sponsored Spring Break in Silicon Valley, known as SBinSV. The intense week-long experience took entrepreneurial SU students around California and immersed them in the world of the tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Apple.

While many of their peers spent Spring Break relaxing, 16 outstanding SU students were selected to participate in the trip, which ran from March 11-15, 2013, and included stops at about 20 companies. They visited incubators, venture capital firms, corporate campuses, and well-decorated lofts. They met with SU alumni, startup CEOs, millionaires, and interns.

San Francisco Bay Area alumni hosted visits to Ruckus Wireless, Google, Evernote, LinkedIn, Lux Capital, Twitter, and Leap Motion. The whirlwind trip also included stops at Stanford University, Microsoft, 500Startups, the Computer History Museum, Splunk, Matrix Partners, Crowdtilt, Juniper Networks, Livefyre, Zaarly, AirPR, and Voxer.

Students toured facilities, learned about each company’s culture, networked with SU alumni, got advice from some of the Valley’s most successful entrepreneurs, and even pitched ideas for their own start-ups.

“SBinSV is a rare opportunity to experience first-hand one of the most successful and prolific innovation cultures the world has ever known, and the students’ excitement is contagious,” says Shay Colson, director of West Coast Relationships at the iSchool and creator of SBinSV. “Whether students take this energy back into the classroom, start their own companies, or come to work in Silicon Valley, what’s generated here has tangible impact on the lives of these students and on Syracuse University.”

This year’s trip focused on bringing back lessons and best practices that could be applied directly to the startup ecosystems of Syracuse and Central New York. Students were asked to become active participants in this ecosystem, engaging locally before the trip, and they’re expected to sustain that engagement upon their return. And one look at the iSchool’s Information Space proves the impact of this life-changing program on the students. Read daily recaps and student reactions to SBinSV 2013.

SBinSV concluded with a chance to cheer on SU men’s basketball against Georgetown with Bay Area alumni. The opportunity to connect professionally and socially with SU alumni working in the Valley was a definite highlight of the experience.

“Being able to provide this opportunity to more than 40 students over the past three years has been incredible,” Colson says. “In addition to impacting students, this program has built and solidified relationships with companies large and small, resulting in our students getting internships and jobs, and companies sending recruiters to the SU campus because they want even greater access. It has also provided an incredible opportunity to engage with many Syracuse alumni who are living and working in Silicon Valley.”

The iSchool is already looking ahead to SBinSV 2014 and welcomes inquiries from SU alumni and friends who wish to host a future visit or provide financial support for students to make the trip. For more information, visit ischool.syr.edu/ilife/sbsv.